For many people, the dark web suggests a shady part of the internet where criminals converge to participate in illicit transactions. While there is some truth to this, the dark web is not all about fraud. Businesses can benefit by taking advantage of the volatile dark web environment.
What is the Dark Web
The dark web describes places on the internet that are not indexed by regular search engines. It is a hidden network that cannot be found through normal browsers. It can be accessed through special software such as Tor or I2P and essentially helps users to hide their identity and online activity.
How the Dark Web Affects Businesses
The anonymity provided by the dark web creates a safe space for cyber criminals. Illegally obtained customer data, mail-order drugs and weapons are all for sale on the dark web. Even organized crime and trafficking syndicates find refuge in the dark net. Moreover, hacking tools and guides for compromising a businesses security such as malware kits and viruses are put up for sale.
Surprisingly, it is easy to gain access to the dark web. Furthermore, if your company data ever gets hacked, it could be shared far and wide before you know about it – if you would know about it at all. If your customers’ data ever gets sold on the dark web, they can be held responsible for any crime committed using their stolen identity.
Most stolen business data usually ends up on the dark web where it is traded for further criminal engagements. The lucrative nature of the trade further encourages more attacks against businesses. Cyber criminals are aware that they have a ready market should they succeeded in breaking their target’s system.
If you think you are exempted from attacks as a small business – think again. Granted that most hacks which make the news involve large companies, cybercriminals do not discriminate. They use automated tools which are usually configured to find vulnerable targets regardless of size. It is reported that most traded data on the dark web are stolen from small businesses such as retailers and restaurants who may never know about the breach.
Can the Dark Web Help Your Business?
Absolutely. The dark web can most definitely help your business. It can be used by businesses to improve cyber security monitoring and reduce malicious threats.
Below we look at some ways that businesses can protect themselves with the aid of the dark web.
1. Potential Threat Intelligence
Information is constantly being shared on the dark web including potential targets and discussion about hacking strategy by sophisticated hackers. Eavesdropping on such conversations can help your business learn about threats on time and come up with strategies to defend your business. If your brand is mentioned in a negative way, you will know and can react accordingly.
2. Past Breach Discovery
A business can get attacked without the owner’s knowledge. The hackers may install a backdoor through which they can continuously spy on the victim. This can happen without affecting the business’ operation. But with the help of the dark web monitoring, a business can learn about such sneaky attacks and take steps to block loopholes and limit the damage.
3. Internal Threats Prevention
If your business deals with highly sensitive information, you want to make sure that your staff is security conscious when online. This would also be in addition to installing advanced security systems. Studies indicate that data leaks often involve an insider. The information you gather from the dark web may help you discover an ongoing leak or even identify the source.
How MSPs Can Help Your Business
About 99% of online information is not available on the open web. This makes the dark web a valuable resource for security research. However, running a deep web monitoring and surveillance program can be labor-intensive. This makes it difficult for small businesses to implement. Thus, it makes sense to outsource deep web monitoring to an MSP. An outsourcing IT company will have the necessary tools and expertise to help your business conduct threats surveillance in the deep web.
Ignoring the dark web can be a costly mistake as the threats of a data breach are very real. Let the experts (us!) handle monitoring for you to reduce the risk of a surprise and damaging cyber-attack.